Sunday, 10 April 2011

Parmesan and Pepper Pull Apart Bread

I felt the need to combine my love of butter, bread and cheese into one calorie laden treat.  I have reasoned with myself that I can just eat soup and salad next week and all will be well again

The bread is brioche based, sandwiched with cream cheese and Parmesan then layered and cut into squares.  This is fairly easy to follow if you have made bread before - I had never made brioche and didn't have any probs.  I would strongly recommend developing the yeast in the warm milk first even if you have fast action, which can be added to the flour and milk straight away as you will know straight away if its activated or not.  I remember a while back being devastated after a failed Pannettone which turned out more like a cake because I had just chucked all of the ingredients in at the same time.  Be careful about the temperature of the milk - it must be warm, not hot or it will kill the yeast. 

Great for large gatherings as an accompaniment to a main meal (possibly something healthier like a soup or stew to counterbalance the richness).  It lends itself to an acidic addition, like Chilli Jam (recipe coming soon), which I might add when I make it again.

This recipe is adapted from Dan Leopard (Guardian) "Buttery Brioche" "Cinnamon Pull apart" by Joy the Baker:
For the bread;
400g strong white flour
50 ml milk
1 sachet  (2 1/2 level tsp) easy blend dried yeast
4 large eggs plus 3 yolks
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp salt
250g unsalted butter
For the filling;
50 g unsalted butter
225g soft cheese
100g Parmesan
1 tsp cracked black pepper
Step 1: Heat the milk until boiling then cool, adding water to make up to 50ml if some evaporated.  When warm stir in the yeast and 2 tbsp of the flour.  Set aside until foaming.
Step 2: Mix eggs, sugar and salt in another bowl, add the foaming yeast then the flour.  Mix until forms a dough but do not knead.  Cover and leave to prove for 30 mins.
Step 3: Cut the butter into cubes and gradually incorporate into the dough by pulling the dough up and massaging the butter into it.   Repeat this until all incorporated.  At this point the dough will stick to your hands slightly but should also feel quite silky and very elastic.  Cover again and leave for approx 2 hours or until doubled in  size.
Step 4: Mix the butter, cream cheese, Parmesan and pepper and set aside.
Step 5: Knock the dough back, add some extra flour (add a small amount at a time) until the dough is pliable enough to roll out.  Separate into 3 pieces.
Step 6: Roll the first piece until approx 2 cm thick, spread 1/2 of mixture evenly.  Repeat with the second piece.  Roll the third piece and place on top.  Slice into approx 5 cm squares.

 Place into a tin cut side up ( I used a 15x15 cm, 5cm deep)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius, sprinkle with more Parmesan and cook for approx 30 mins or until golden brown and clean on a skewer (as all ovens vary, check after 15 and keep checking).
And, there you have it.  A cheesy buttery snack.  Yum!

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